The Brunel family has been in the Châteauneuf-du-Pape region since the 17th century and has been fully committed to making wine for five generations. The first vineyard beginning was purchased from the Bishop of Avignon located in the north of the appellation. In 1971, André Brunel took over the reins of the Domaine. We want to produce wines reflecting their region and origin while remaining elegant and wonderfully subtle. The Domaine boasts about 40 hectares in Côtes du Rhône, mostly located to the east of the city of Orange and the rest being in the Gard near Lirac. His endless motivation resulted in rapid growth for the Domaine: repurchasing of Côtes du Rhône and Vins de Pays vines. He also made some considerable changes in the vine management process by being one of the first people to use a ground covering method and take a non-chemical approach to wine-farming. In 2012, his son, Fabrice Brunel, joined the team so the family history can continue.
Learn More About Rhone White Blends
White Rhone blends consist of two or more white grapes from its namesake region. This includes Viognier, Rousanne, Marsanne and Grenache Blanc. Other white grapes may be included in miniscule amounts, but the above four are the principles. In the Rhone, Viognier is typically alone in the Northern Rhone and absent in the Southern Rhone, although, in the north, 20% of the variety can be blended into the predominant Syrah of Cote Rotie. Marsanne and Roussanne are two peas in pod - usually found together both in and outside of the Rhone region. Blends outside of the Rhone are mostly found in California and Australia and can include all of the four primary varieties together.
Notable Facts The whites blends of the Rhone are usually rich in fruit flavors and aromatics. Three of the primary grapes, Viognier, Roussanne and Marsanne are intense on aromatics & texture. The fourth primary grape used in the blend is Grenache Blanc, a fairly neutral grape with crisp acid & high sugars. Blending Grenache Blanc with the above three varieties helps the wine stand up in acid levels and ads a crispness to the texture. Flavors of white Rhone blends include spice, nut, honeysuckle and green apple.
Summing it up Successful Sites: Rhone, California, Australia, South Africa
Common Descriptors: honeysuckle, green apple, peach, nut, spice
Learn More About Cotes du Rhone, Rhone, France
A Cote of Many Grapes
The appellation of Côtes du Rhône encompasses much of the land of the area, not to mention much of the wine – over two-thirds of the wine produced here is of the Côtes-du-Rhône appellation. Wines here need only be from the Côtes de Rhône geographic area (which is fairly large) and consist of one or more of the 22 varieties permitted. Being such a wide classification, it's a surprise and joy that so many of these wines reach such a high quality. While there are areas in the Northern Rhône that meet the classification of Côtes du Rhône, most all of this appellation is in the Southern Rhône. Wines here are based mostly on Grenache, like other Rhône reds, while the whites focus on Marsanne and Roussanne. Viognier is also allowed although typically used in smaller quantities.
There is one higher level in the Côtes du Rhône called Côtes du Rhône Villages. These wines are from specific village areas that have a few more standards the wine must reach to receive the village label. Some to take note of are Cairanne, Rasteau, Seguret and Beaumes-de-Venise. The good thing about both Côtes du Rhône and Côtes du Rhône Villages is that big producers of the smaller appellations are taking the opportunity and freedom offered by this broad appellation and creating wines of very high quality, and lower in price.